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Old 07-16-2005, 03:08 AM   #1
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: deb lenny 2.6.21-amd64
Posts: 320

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unable to play wmv + convert

I'm trying to play WMV files and have had no success-- I've tried mplayer and vlc, both of which simply show the first frame and fail to continue. Has anyone else run into a similar or identical situation? If I can't resolve this, I would like to convert wmv to avi or mpeg... which would be interesting to know how to do anyway.

I've tried both transcode and ffmpeg:

#transcode -x mplayer -i file.wmv -y xvid4 -o file.avi
[transcode] ERROR: The 'mplayer' program was found, but is not accessible.
[transcode] Not a directory
[transcode] Please check your installation.
audio import module error: OPEN failed
[transcode] critical: failed to open input source

#ffmpeg -i file.wmv -an -vcodec xvid file.avi
Unknown codec 'xvid'

If I remove 'xvid' I'm greeted with the error:
Unknown codec 'file.avi'

I have tinkered around with transcode before with a very low success rate and have yet to really try doing anything with ffmpeg up to this point.
Old 07-16-2005, 05:31 AM   #2
Registered: Nov 2004
Distribution: Slackware 11, Ubuntu 6.06 LTS
Posts: 700

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I use xine, which is a very compatible player and supports lots of formats. You can download it from the the link above. I quote (from the xine documentation):
Can I watch Windows Media (.asf/.wmv/.wma) files using xine?

While the container format (system layer) ASF (wmv is just an alias) is fully supported in xine, for newer windows media 9 based streams you'll need to install windows binary codecs (.DLLs).

Possibly the most convenient way to get the Windows DLLs is to download them from the MPlayer website. The package is called "essential". Unpack it and move everything you find inside to /usr/lib/win32 (actually you can place them anywhere you want, e.g. someplace in your home directory, but then you'll have to set decoder.external.win32_codecs_path in your xine config file accordingly). Restart xine then and you should be able to watch windows media streams.

Old 07-16-2005, 01:35 PM   #3
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: deb lenny 2.6.21-amd64
Posts: 320

Original Poster
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I just looked at the VLC features list and it turns out it doesn't support WMV 3 (only WMV 1/2).

I have downloaded 'essentials' and placed the files under /usr/local/lib/codecs.
Unpack the codecs archives and put the contents in a directory where MPlayer
will find them. The default directory is /usr/local/lib/codecs/ (it used to be
/usr/local/lib/win32 in the past, this also works)
I was never successful in compiling Mplayer from sourcecode when I tried a month or so ago and therefore finally ended up installing it with apt-get (mplayer-586). I uninstalled it and reinstalled it in order for it to recognize the codecs, but it still fails to play the wmv file. Is there a rule that I have to compile it from sourcecode for it to work or should apt-get work just the same? I can't think of any reason why it wouldn't.
Old 07-17-2005, 03:16 PM   #4
Registered: Aug 2004
Distribution: deb lenny 2.6.21-amd64
Posts: 320

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